Isn’t it time we “take our healthcare back?”
Being blessed with great health and energy all my life, I never thought the current frenzy about heath care would hit me-until now!
My medical history doesn’t expand too far, and only includes 2 hospital stays, 2 surgeries, and very little else! I come from a long line of healthy people and my Grandmother lived to be 98. See the pattern here? I made it through all the changes in my life without hormone replacements, drugs, pain medications, or vitamins! I have a great dentist, eye doctor, and feeling fine! I have periodically seen dermatologists for my sensitive skin, but nothing major! I thought I was doing quite well about proactively taking good care of myself, until recently.
Up and until a month ago I had not been to a dermatologist in over two years! I went because a place appeared on my face, it wouldn’t go away, and I couldn’t get it to disappear with make-up! Yes, that is the vanity of “Simply” Sue!
My dermatologist didn’t seem too concerned and said when I was ready we could take care of it! I remembered when I was in my 20’s I had a place removed on my nose by a plastic surgeon and it was no problem and you can’t tell it was ever there! So I trusted this doctor, didn’t ask questions, and made a date to take care of this aggravating spot!
I should have known when I got there and found out it was big time real surgery, to ask more questions before I allowed it to happen! But I didn’t. I left there realizing this doctor didn’t ever mention cancer till after the surgery, and that I was going to be left with a nasty ugly scar really close to my left eye!
It hit me then as I started looking around there were many people that are scarred, disfigured, and it looked like I would be among them.
I was told to return in a week to get the top stitches removed, and find out the results of the tests. It was only then that the dreaded word “cancer” was mentioned! That week was the first time in my life I realized I would have to face what was going on, and be a participant in it instead of a captive audience that just did as they were told! I read all I could find and had my list of questions ready for this doctor. However I failed to read that I should have taken someone with me!
I went that day and was not prepared for what happened! The stitches were removed but I sensed something was not right as I started bleeding. Then my doctor told me it was cancer and would have to be watched for at least 2 years. I then began asking my prepared questions, and it was very evident he was not used to anyone asking anything only listening! I also realized he was not familiar with what I was asking, and didn’t want to discuss it any further. He even left the room!
At that point I totally realized that I was never coming back here, and as I left I said politely but meaningful, “I know you may have been a good doctor to many, but looks like not for me!” I remember his receptionist saying she was sorry as I flung out the door!
I cried all the way home and could have kicked myself for not taking my husband with me! Here I was with a big bandage on my face, with many still unanswered questions and not knowing what to do next! I also realized I had not asked for a copy of my records, so I couldn’t even see what was going on!
As soon as I arrived home, I was in a mode of action, not fear or emotion! I went on-line to look up my doctor’s email so I could request a copy of my records, and much to my surprise found out he doesn’t have one. Then for the very first time I find out about the existence of patient reviews! Wish I had checked this doctor out before I allowed him to proceed, because I read lots of reviews that described the very same treatment I had just received! That gave me the assurance that I was not crazy or a bad person for feeling like I did about his care and concern for me.
Right then I knew I needed to turn this negative time into a positive one and help others in the process! I called and requested a copy of my records, and I could the tell the receptionist had faced this before as she faxed them to me that very day, without charge! I found out I have the “good” kind of cancer, (if there is such a thing) and that it would not kill me, only disfigure me for the rest of my life, if I let it!
I also realized there were other places on my face starting to appear, my current scar is going to have to be reconstructed due to the fact how it was done, and that the stitches were taken out too soon, and the options I will face in the new year! But the “good news” is there is something I can do about it, both for myself and others!
Today on this Christmas Eve of 2013 I am launching a National Campaign to “Take Back Our Healthcare!” I am not against doctors because most care for us very well; but it is time we decide what and when things should be done to our bodies, and the kind of service we expect when we go for treatment, and what to do when we don’t receive it!
We also need to step up to the plate and be responsible in how we treat our bodies so that we ourselves can prevent having to live on medications and undergoing procedures we don’t need! Yes, that means eating right, and exercising! We need to know when we need to see a doctor and when we don’t! We need to be informed and ask questions before we automatically let the medical community decide what is best for us! We need to be responsible and not panic and live in fear of our health, love ourselves and others, and make the choices once we have all the facts, and not the doctors!
As for me there are lots of new options in the treatment of skin cancer, of all kinds and stages! I don’t have to be disfigured and scarred, and I will thrive knowing hopefully today you are deciding no matter what age or stage of health you are in, there is hope, and there is something you can do about it!
Are you ready to join me in making this a gift to yourself this Christmas? This is a lifelong commitment to wellness that you can do first, and then when you have to be involved with the medical community taking the responsibility of asking and questioning before you automatically follow what is being offered as the only option! You don’t have to do this alone, let’s start talking about it all over social media, and with our families and friends! We can make a difference and help others see they can too!
This is a great way to impact the cost of healthcare, and also become a healthier nation that does have the best healthcare in the world!
Wishing for you a very Memorable Christmas and a Happy New ‘YOU” Year! Give yourself the gift of life, great health, and healthcare!
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